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EXPATRIATE NEWS ITEMS - 2004 FROM  BBC News 

31 Dec Expats in Saudi: Life after Jeddah The kingdom of Saudi Arabia had experienced a relative lull in attacks on Westerners in recent months
22 Dec UK bracing for a white Christmas A white Christmas is on the cards for much of the UK, with "significant" falls of snow forecast for some parts of the country on 25 December.
22 Dec UK tops G7 Christmas booze chart Alcohol consumption rises around Christmas by a wider margin in the UK than in any other leading Western country, a new survey has found.
18 Dec Prisoners praise Saudi conditions Jailed suspected militants have appeared on Saudi TV praising prison conditions and calling for al-Qaeda sympathisers to turn themselves in.
17 Dec What if Blunkett were African? If an African minister fast-tracked a visa application, no-one would bat an eyelid - one of the reasons why it remains the world's poorest continent.
16 Dec 10 things everyone should know about the UK A Life in the UK handbook, which will form the basis of the new 'Britishness test' for immigrants who want to become UK citizens, has been published by a government advisory board.
15 Dec Australia alert on Indonesia attack Australia warns that terrorists could be preparing an attack in Indonesia, possibly targeting a Hilton hotel.
15 Dec UK set to cut back on embassies Nine overseas UK embassies and high commissions are to close to help save money, says the foreign secretary.
14 Dec Ban to be lifted Apparently, it is fine to use mobile phones while flying after all
10 Dec The great bus sale As much an icon as Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, the curvaceous old Routemaster bus is retiring next year. But there's no shortage of admirers waiting to snap up a slice of transport history.
10 Dec Do you feel safe in Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabian authorities have condemned the attack on a US consulate and pledged to "fight terrorism in all its aspects".
06 Dec Villagers hold Nigeria oil plants Representatives of a remote community in southern Nigeria's Delta region have taken over three oil installations.
01 Dec Air disasters timeline A timeline of international air crashes from 1998 to the present
22 Nov Staff strike at historic brewery Workers fighting plans to close the Boddingtons brewery in Manchester begin a four-day strike.
21 Nov Sahara tourists face theft charge Five Germans thought to be missing in the Sahara are safe but face charges for the alleged theft of artefacts.
19 Nov First snows fall in parts of UK The first snowflakes of the season fall as temperatures drop across England and Wales.
16 Nov Britons 'funny but drunken' breed Britons are funny, polite and proud but also prone to bouts of drunkenness, a survey finds.
16 Nov Heathrow check-in firm collapses About 900 people lose their jobs as Swissport UK, which provides check-in services at Heathrow Airport, collapses.
15 Nov Europe is 'shutting out UK firms' EU countries discriminate against UK companies when awarding contracts, says a report commissioned by the Treasury.
14 Nov Expats flood out of Ivory Coast Foreigners are continuing to leave Ivory Coast in large numbers, amid continuing unrest in the country.
13 Nov Britons flown out of Ivory Coast About 220 Britons and people from other countries are flown out of the troubled West African state of Ivory Coast.
09 Nov Saudi 'bomber' vows to clear name A man who claims he was tortured into confessing to a bombing campaign in Saudi Arabia tries to clear his name.
07 Nov British contractor killed in Iraq A British contractor is killed in a roadside bomb attack in Basra, southern Iraq, reports say.
05 Nov Nigeria fuel shortage hits planes A sudden aviation fuel shortage grounds domestic and international flights out of Nigeria's commercial centre.
04 Nov Inquiry into airport runway crash An investigation is held after two aircraft carrying more than 330 passengers collide while taxiing at Manchester Airport.
04 Nov British emigration reaches a high Some 151,000 more people came to the UK than left the country in 2003, according to official figures.
01 Nov Nigeria strike call targets Shell Crude oil prices rise after Nigeria's main trade union says it will target oil production in a general strike starting in two weeks time.
01 Nov Thai death sentence for Briton A Briton is sentenced to death and another to 33 years in prison in Thailand over drug trafficking charges.
30 Oct Gatwick to Paris flights finish BA ends flights from Gatwick to Paris, with Eurostar hoping the news will boost its passenger figures.
29 Oct Britons face US passport deadline Britons visiting the US without visas will need their own machine-readable passports from Tuesday.
28 Oct Appeal win for Saudi jail Britons The Court of Appeal overturns a ruling that four men who said they were tortured in jails in Saudi Arabia cannot pursue damages in the UK.
28 Oct Man wins Saudi 'torture' appeal A British accountant who claims he was tortured in a Saudi jail wins an appeal over his right to claim damages.
27 Oct New BBC channel to launch in Asia A pay-to-view TV channel featuring British programmes such as Top of the Pops is to launch in Asia in December.
25 Oct Airline issues passport warning British Airways urges families travelling to the US to get their children individual passports or face serious delays.
25 Oct Zug: from bull market to cash cow Swiss Canton Zug's favourable tax regime has attracted companies and finance professionals from all over the world and made it very wealthy.
24 Oct End of cyclist's journey in sight A Devon cyclist is expecting to finish his ride from the South West to Shanghai on Sunday.
22 Oct Fresh strike underway at Gatwick A strike among baggage handlers at Gatwick Airport starts after hopes of a deal collapse.
21 Oct Nigeria slams corruption ranking Nigeria strongly criticises a survey ranking it as Africa's most corrupt country saying it is "fundamentally flawed".
20 Oct Irish-born aid worker kidnappedA charity worker kidnapped in Baghdad on her way to work was born in Ireland, officials confirm.
20 Oct UK faces booze cruise court case The European Commission takes Britain to court over its treatment of cross-Channel shoppers.
20 Oct Brown in 'booze-cruise rethink' The chancellor could back down in a row with the European Commission over the tough penalties on "booze-cruisers".
19 Oct How many UK workers are in Iraq? With security concerns in Iraq growing with the kidnap of a UK aid worker, just how many Britons are at risk there?
19 Oct Airlines struggle to cut delays Average delays to flights using the UK's major airports remain the same in spring as they were in summer 2003.
15 Oct Workers hold sixth airport strike A further strike is being staged by baggage handlers at Gatwick Airport in a continuing row over workloads.
15 Oct British worker shot dead in Iraq A British security guard has been shot dead in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
13 Oct Axed P&O routes to be taken over Brittany Ferries announces plans to take over two routes from Portsmouth which are due to be axed by P&O.
10 Oct Bigley killed after 'escape bid' British hostage Ken Bigley escaped briefly before being recaptured and beheaded, according to reports.
09 Oct Hostage Bigley murdered in Iraq British hostage Kenneth Bigley is killed by his kidnappers in Iraq, his family confirms.
09 Oct BA cabin crew 'fail breath test' Two air stewards were prevented from boarding a BA flight from Helsinki after allegedly failing a breath test.
08 Oct Hoverspeed seeks £50m in damages Hoverspeed files a £50m damages claim against Customs & Excise over "heavy handed" passenger searches.
08 Oct BA's fuel surcharge to increase British Airways is to raise its fuel surcharge as a result of the continuing increase in the price of oil.
07 Oct GPs confused by 'manky' patients A group of Austrian doctors left baffled by the slang used by their South Yorkshire patients are given a helping hand. 
06 Oct UK man weds to get son's passport A British man whose son was born in Coventry is marrying his Portuguese partner to get their child a UK passport.
30 Sep British banger bound for Barbados A British butcher comes to the aid of hungry ex-pats on a Caribbean island.
29 Sep Expats on alert after Oman shooting BBC News Online looks at the affect the shooting of a Briton has had on the expat community in Oman.
28 Sep Briton wounded in Oman shooting A British man was shot and injured outside a medical centre in the capital of Oman, the Foreign Office says.
28 Sep Oil workers threatened in Nigeria Foreign workers in Nigeria's Niger Delta have been warned to leave the region by a local armed militia.
26 Sep Frenchman killed in Saudi Arabia A Frenchman is shot dead in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the country's official news agency says.
24 Sep Shell pulls staff from oil region The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, withdraws hundreds of workers from oil facilities in Nigeria's troubled Niger Delta.
23 Sep BA drive to boost staff numbers British Airways takes on more customer service staff following last month's chaos at Heathrow.
21 Sep Iraq contractors weather security storm Western private contractors working in Iraq say they are determined to see their work through.
21 Sep How many British workers are in Iraq? With security concerns in Iraq increasing with the kidnapping of a British engineer, just how many Britons are at risk there?
20 Sep Missing tanker 'shame' in Nigeria A missing Russian oil tanker in Nigerian custody is a "national embarrassment" says a parliamentary investigator.
17 Sep Briton kidnapped in Iraq is named A British man who was abducted from his Baghdad house, along with two Americans, by gunmen is named as Kenneth Bigley.
17 Sep British father-of-six shot dead A British man shot dead in the Saudi capital Riyadh leaves behind a wife and six children.
16 Sep Briton shot dead in Saudi capital A British man is shot dead near a shopping centre in the Saudi capital Riyadh, raising fears of militant attacks.
16 Sep Iraq war illegal, says Annan UN chief Kofi Annan tells the BBC the Iraq war was illegal and warns elections are at threat from ongoing violence.
15 Sep BA cancels 1,000 Heathrow flights BA cancels nearly 1,000 flights from Heathrow in a bid to improve its operational performance.
14 Sep 'Cannonball Run' cars impounded Police in Spain impound up to 70 vehicles for taking part in a Cannonball Run-style rally across Europe.
13 Sep Thais to publish etiquette guide Thailand says it is writing a book on national etiquette to try to tackle the problem of culturally insensitive foreigners.
10 Sep Libya 'owes most parking fines' The Foreign Office publishes a list of diplomatic missions with unpaid fines and property rates totalling more than £1.3m.
09 Sep Bitter end at Boddingtons brewery Boddingtons' famous Manchester brewery is to close with production moved to south Wales and Lancashire.
07 Sep Pc 'was paid to spy for diplomat' An ex-policeman admits he gave information to a Saudi diplomat who wanted to spy on dissidents, in return for cash.
07 Sep Diplomatic immunity? Not from the taxman It's not just criminal offences that thrust the issue of diplomatic immunity into the legal spotlight. The case of a cook in London's Namibian embassy has proved that no one is safe from the taxman.
01 Sep Three die in Saudi shop stampede Hundreds of shoppers stampede at an Ikea store in Jeddah, leaving three people crushed to death.
01 Sep Agencies 'exploit' South Asian workers South Asians lured to the Middle East by promises of money face dangers and dirty tricks, reports the BBC's Alastair Lawson.
26 Aug Tourists warned off taking drugs British travellers are being warned of the dangers of taking or trafficking drugs overseas in a new Foreign Office booklet.
26 Aug August rain reaches record levels England has recorded its wettest August ever, with more than two-thirds more rainfall than normal.
25 Aug Do they speak English in Australia? Well of course they do - like millions of other members of the big happy Commonwealth family. But new rules asking natives of those countries to prove they can speak English before getting UK citizenship has left some 'colonials' feeling a little insulted - and that's the same in any accent.
24 Aug BA boss says sorry for 'misery' British Airways apologises to passengers after a further 31 flights were cancelled because of staff shortages.
21 Aug Adventurer 'amazed' at bike offer A Devon adventurer cycling to China says he is delighted that his bike that was stolen in a night-time raid is to be replaced.
21 Aug Strike averted after BA agreement A planned strike by British Airways workers on the August Bank Holiday is called off after tough negotiations.
20 Aug 'Smallest' brewery reopens Beer production restarts at a tiny mid Wales brewery thought to be the smallest in the world.
20 Aug Gunmen rob Africa trip students A party of British students are targeted by armed bikers while on a school trip in Tanzania.
20 Aug Briton found dead in Thailand The body of a 25-year-old Briton is found dumped in a rubber plantation in southern Thailand.
20 Aug Union sets Eurostar strike date Eurostar workers will stage a 24-hour walk-out over a pay dispute on August 28, their union announces.
18 Aug Saudi 'torture victim' fights on A year on from his release from a Saudi jail, a south Wales man continues to fight for compensation and to clear his name.
17 Aug Paris air terminal back in action Flights resume from a Paris airport terminal where a roof collapsed in May, killing four people.
13 Aug US diplomats head back to Saudi The US is allowing non-essential diplomatic staff to return to Saudi Arabia for the first time since April.
09 Aug Alert over Spanish driving scam British holidaymakers returning from Spain and the Canary Islands are being warned about a fake driving fines scam.
09 Aug Stormy weather 'strands' luggage Thousands of passengers are without their luggage after 7,000 suitcases were left at Heathrow Airport.
09 Aug BA increases fuel cost surcharge British Airways says it is to more than double its fuel surcharge for long-haul passengers to meet rising fuel costs.
06 Aug Grins banned from passport pics 'Open-mouthed' smiles are banned from passport photos as Home Office prepares for biometric revolution.
03 Aug Irishman killed in Saudi capital An Irish citizen is shot dead in a company office in Riyadh, the foreign ministry in Dublin confirms.
03 Aug Sunstroke, kebabs and grockles What is it like for expat residents of popular holiday destinations, when their new homes are invaded by their former countrymen and women?
03 Aug Britain's curry house crisis Britain's curry houses are suffering a staffing crisis as immigration officials tighten up on issuing work visas.
02 Aug Atlantic crossing for pub crawl An expat and his American friends make a flying visit to Wales just to tackle the 'Mumbles Mile'.
02 Aug Saudi man quizzed over sex attack A man arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl is released after claiming diplomatic immunity.
02 Aug Biometric passports go on trial People are offered the chance to have irises, fingerprints and facial biometrics are recorded in a trial for a new passport.
30 Jul Inquiry over 'fuel leak' airliner An investigation is taking place into a serious incident in which a BA airliner took off trailing smoke and fuel.
28 Jul Why Britons are 'language barbarians' BBC News Online asks why Britons are failing to learn the lingo in a global community.
27 Jul US passport deadline is extended The US extends by 12 months a deadline by which UK passports must contain "biometric" data such as fingerprints.
27 Jul BA warns staff over strike action British Airways writes to 12,000 employees warning strike action over pay would seriously damage the company.
26 Jul Killings by pirates on the rise There has been a sharp rise in killings by maritime pirates around the world, a new report says.
21 Jul Saudi crackdown on camera phones Saudi police have begun confiscating mobile phones with cameras if their owners use them in public, amid scandal about a phone clip of an alleged rape.
20 Jul 'Reverse air-rage' on Russian jet The Russian airline Aeroflot says intoxicated flight attendants beat up a passenger who complained.
15 Jul Saudi worker 'abuse' BBC News Online readers react to news a human rights group has criticised the Saudi justice system for failing to protect foreign workers from abuse.
01 Jul Airport workers on theft charges Five Gatwick Airport security guards are charged with theft from passengers' bags.
25 Jun Saudis permit guns for foreigners The kingdom is to relax a ban on foreigners carrying guns after a wave of attacks on expatriates.
24 Jun BAE offers 'Saudi danger money' BAE Systems is paying its expatriate staff in Saudi Arabia £1,000 a month in an attempt to prevent an exodus, one employee says.
23 Jun New rules over travel warnings The Foreign Office says it will be more selective about the travel warnings it gives about the danger of terrorism.
13 Jun Non-key UK staff may leave Saudi The Foreign Office is allowing non-essential staff to leave its Saudi office as attacks on westerners continue.
12 Jun US national gunned down in Riyadh An American man is shot dead in the Saudi capital, as militants claim to have kidnapped another US citizen.
08 Jun American killed in Saudi capital Gunmen kill an American man in the Saudi capital Riyadh - just two days after a drive-by attack on a BBC team.
07 Jun 'Al-Qaeda' threat to US airlines A statement said to be from al-Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia warns of new attacks on US and Western airlines.
07 Jun Manhunt after attack on BBC crew Saudi security forces hunt gunmen who killed a BBC journalist and critically wounded another in Riyadh.
03 Jun Flights resuming after disruption Flights are returning to normal after an air traffic control computer failure saw planes grounded across the UK.
02 Jun Lifestyle change of Brits abroad One in three Britons are plotting their escape from these islands to work or live abroad, according to a report.
02 Jun Britons seek a better lifestyle BBC News Online looks at why people are increasingly choosing to leave the UK for a new life.
02 Jun Peace deal in Nigerian oil town Rival ethnic groups in the oil-rich Niger Delta vow to end fighting which has plagued the region for seven years.
02 Jun Britons split on Iraq war - poll Half of British people believe the war in Iraq was unjustified, a survey by the BBC suggests.
01 Jun Europeans get new medical card Millions of people across the European Union can apply for a new medical card from Tuesday.
31 May Concern over airline medical care The medical care available to people who fall ill on planes varies considerably between airlines, a report says.
31 May Saudi warning from Foreign Office The UK Foreign Office says it fears there may be further attacks on oil and western targets in Saudi Arabia.
30 May Ex-pats predict exodus in Khobar Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are predicting an exodus among ex-patriates following the violence in Khobar.
30 May Saudi troops raid hostage compound Saudi commandos are conducting a raid to free 50 hostages held by suspected Islamic militants.
30 May UK 'Tax Freedom Day' comes late The symbolic day on which the average UK taxpayer has earned enough to cover their annual tax bill is later because of tax rises.
29 May Airport workers vote for strike Unions have warned of chaos at UK airports this summer after voting for strike action over pay.
26 May Amnesty lists South Asia abuses Amnesty International has expressed concern at what it says are increasing human rights abuses throughout the South Asia region.
26 May Russian contractors to quit Iraq A Russian firm rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure is to evacuate all its staff after two were killed in Baghdad.
26 May Streaker joins Subbuteo A table football shop has hit a winning streak with its top-selling accessory - a miniature streaker.
25 May Iraqi contractors keep hard hats on Foreign contractors in Iraq show little sign of losing their nerve despite an increasingly uncertain security situation.
24 May Baghdad blast kills two Britons Two Britons are killed in a rocket attack outside Iraq coalition headquarters in Baghdad.
23 May Paris airport roof collapse kills six The roof of a newly-built departure lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport collapses, killing six and injuring three.
22 May German shot dead in Saudi capital Gunmen kill a German man outside shops in eastern Riyadh, the Saudi interior ministry says.
20 May Holiday in Bosnia, Ashdown urges Bosnia-Hercegovina is safe again for tourists and provides a unique holiday destination, according to former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown
19 May British worker killed in Iraq A civilian worker from south Wales has been shot dead in Iraq, the Foreign Office has said.
18 May Former marine shot dead in Iraq A British contractor from Derby is shot dead while working in Iraq, the Foreign Office confirms.
13 May Concern grows over Saudi stability Saudi Arabia is not a place much given to public demonstrations - for one thing, they are illegal
12 May Somali passports for sale Forged Somali passports are as easy to buy as bread in the Garissa Lodge market in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
12 May Oil price rises hit airline fares British Airways joins Australia's Qantas and Air New Zealand in slapping a surcharge on its fares, blaming soaring oil prices for the move.
12 May Russian firms urged to leave Iraq The Russian Duma urges firms to consider withdrawing from Iraq, as it berates the coalition for losing control.
05 May Canadian hostage released in Iraq A Canadian man who was kidnapped in Baghdad has been freed, the Ottawa government says.
04 May Leave Saudi now, US tells ex-pats The US ambassador to Saudi Arabia urges Americans to leave the country after the killing of five westerners on Saturday.
04 May Air France seals takeover of KLM Shareholders sign up to a deal creating the world's biggest airline out of the French and Dutch flag carriers.
01 May Britons die in Saudi gun attack Two Britons are among six shot dead by gunmen in an attack on the offices of a Western firm in Saudi Arabia.
01 May Reporters' Log - EU Enlargement BBC correspondents report from across Europe as the European Union welcomes 10 new members.
29 Apr US warns against travel to Israel The United States has warned its citizens to avoid travel to Israel, and to leave the Gaza Strip immediately.
24 Apr Oil workers die in Nigeria ambush At least two US oil contractors are killed in an ambush on their boat in Nigeria's southern delta area.
22 Apr Foreign hostages released in Iraq Three more foreign hostages are released in Iraq, following a spate of kidnappings in recent weeks.
21 Apr Sunday roast tops expat wish list The Sunday roast, a full English and a nice cup of tea are the national mainstays Britons would most miss if they moved abroad.
14 Apr In pictures: Celebrating Songkran Images from Thailand's three-day Songkran festival
14 Apr US citizens urged to leave Saudi The US government says its citizens should leave Saudi Arabia due to heightened security fears.
14 Apr Bodies 'of US Iraq workers' found Four bodies, reported to be those of US contractors missing since an ambush, are found west of Baghdad.
14 Apr Foreign workers told to quit Iraq Foreigners are urged to leave as the US reports up to 40 people being held hostage.
14 Apr Freed Iraq hostage returns home A British man held hostage in Iraq after being snatched by militia is back in the UK.
13 Apr Why brave the dangers in Iraq? Why are some foreign civilians choosing to continue in ordinary jobs in Iraq as their security appears increasingly threatened?
11 Apr Indonesians on UK terror alert Indonesians are advised against travelling to Britain, by the country's London embassy because of the threat of terrorism.
02 Apr Islanders debate tortoise's move An emigrating British family's request to take their tortoise into a South Atlantic island sparks a government debate.
26 Mar Packing your bags for Libya? Is Libya set to become the new Mediterranean holiday hot-spot?
25 Mar Blair goes to Libya Should Tony Blair meet Libya's leader Colonel Gaddafi? We talked to the shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram - and to the father of one of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing
02 Mar Keeping Polish steam trains on the rails A UK expatriate in Poland teaches rail enthusiasts to drive one of Europe's last steam commuter trains.
01 Mar Swiss provide best urban living Swiss cities come top - and Baghdad at the bottom - of an annual international survey of urban quality of life.
17 Feb Security fear at British embassy The British embassy in Syria is closed to the public for security reasons.
16 Feb 'Imminent' Saudi attack warning Terrorists may be in the final stages of planning an attack in Saudi Arabia, the UK Foreign Office has warned
16 Feb Strike grounds flights in Paris French air traffic controllers at Orly airport begin week-long action in protest against reorganisation plans.
15 Feb Ryanair 'to cut frills further' Budget airline Ryanair says it is lowering costs by ordering a fleet of planes without items like reclining seats or window blinds.
12 Feb Security fears ground BA flights British Airways cancels flights to the US and Saudi Arabia amid fears they could be the target of a terrorist attack.
10 Feb Charles praises British expats The Prince of Wales has praised Britons in Saudi Arabia for their "resilience and optimism" while living under the threat of terrorism.
10 Feb Germans get a taste of Cornwall A German businessman tries to make a crust by opening a pasty shop in Berlin after a holiday in Cornwall.
09 Feb Tourists hurt in Cairo stabbing A man 'frustrated by the situation in the Middle East' injures a Norwegian and an Australian tourist in Cairo.
02 Feb Case dropped against poppy couple Italian prosecutors drop the case against a British couple who grew opium poppies in their garden unaware of their narcotic properties
02 Feb Iraq war 'increased terror threat' The Iraq war has increased, not decreased, the chances of terror attacks on Britons, a committee of MPs claims.
01 Feb Terror alert hits third airline Continental Airlines cancels a US flight for security reasons, after terror fears ground BA and Air France planes.
31 Jan Al-Qaeda threat grounds flights British Airways and Air France cancel a number of US flights amid fears al-Qaeda may be targeting them.
30 Jan Ryanair loses disability ruling Ryanair is ordered to pay compensation to a disabled man who was charged a fee to use a wheelchair.
25 Jan New budget airline for Britain The launch is announced of a new airline which will operate budget flights on a network of domestic routes.
22 Jan Asia welcomes Year of Monkey Millions of people celebrate the Lunar New Year with temple visits, fireworks and holiday shopping.
17 Jan Intrepid travellers remembered The brave journeys of thousands of Welsh people who left their homeland in search of a brighter future abroad are remembered in a new exhibition.
15 Jan Swiss publish banned planes list Swiss aviation authorities publish a partial list of airlines which own planes banned from its airports.
08 Jan UK's airline blacklist published A list of airlines banned from flying in Britain because of safety concerns is published by the government.